The story of a young damaged artist who faces his demons … and through perseverance …. rises from the ashes….. of a broken soul.
BILLY BATES explores the fiery world of thirty-year old enigmatic artist Billy Bates. On the one hand, Billy’s reality is a kaleidoscope of artistic beauty and on the other, an extremely troubled existence. As Billy floats the tightrope between brilliance and madness, he seeks solace in overcoming his personal inner-demons. Billy’s hyper -sensitive mind and colorful soul are haunted by the abandonment of his nurturing mother and also by the abuse from his monstrous and envious father. Billy, intellectual and poetic, eventually meets Kaia, a beautiful singer who seems to understand exactly who Billy is.
The layers of Billy’s psyche are explored through an extensive interview done in documentary fashion infused with the dark and provocative images from Billy’s past and present. Through fragmented memories of underground parties, inside the insane asylum, and his rise to become a famous contemporary artist, Billy takes us on a love story quest and journey to transcendence, all with the looming question: How important is it to know what is ‘real?’
As the writer and director of the film, Jennifer is expressing through BILLY BATES her true curiosity and passion for the artist process. This narrative is essentially about an artist who is forced to embrace multiple dimensions of his mind and emotions in order to have true love with himself and his art.
When life imitates art, reality reflects what has previously been expressed through art. It is difficult to say where it all begins.
This film is a unique blend of conventional filmmaking and improvisational collaboration. Christopher Stull’s (Sin City; Grindhouse) production design team produced an authentic 360-degree set for Billy Bates.